I've collected inspiring quotes for years. As a struggling novelist my collection of quotes have often been the only thing that kept me going. For years I pinned these quotes to the wall above my desk. I called it my cheer leading wall.
It's easy to think that obstacles are there to defeat us. That's what I believed for a long time. But, after reading Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey, I realized that obstacles are gatekeepers. They are testing us to be sure we're ready for the adventure ahead.
Like a troll guarding a bridge in fairy tales and myths, obstacles test us to see if we are strong enough and brave enough to pursue our own private mythical journey.
Sometimes it takes extraordinary courage to live the life set before us.
Here is what Booker T. Washington and Randy Pausch have to say on obstacles.
“Success is not to be measured by the position someone has reached in life, but
the obstacles he has overcome while trying to succeed.”
― Booker T. Washington
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us
out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want
something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it
badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture